Barr defends administration's efforts to overturn ObamaCare in court

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAttorney General Barr's license to kill Medical examiner confirms Epstein death by suicide Justice Dept. says Mueller report has been downloaded 800 million times MORE on Tuesday defended the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to support a court ruling that would overturn ObamaCare.

The DOJ last month sided with a lower court ruling that ObamaCare is unconstitutional, going past its previous position that only part of the law should be struck down.

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Asked by Rep. Matt CartwrightMatthew (Matt) Alton CartwrightAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress The 11 House Dems from Trump districts who support assault weapons ban House Dems up funding for science agencies, ignoring proposed Trump cuts MORE (D-Pa.) why the DOJ would take such “dramatic and drastic action,” Barr replied: “Do you think it’s likely we’re going to prevail?”

“We are in litigation and we have to take a position. If you think it’s such an outrageous position, you have nothing to worry about. Let the courts do their job,” he said during a House Appropriations hearing Tuesday. 

A federal judge in Texas struck down ObamaCare in December, ruling that the law's individual mandate was unconstitutional.

The judge sided with Republican-led states that had filed a lawsuit against the health care policy, ruling that ObamaCare can’t stand without the penalty for not having insurance, which Congress repealed in 2017.

Last month, the DOJ said in a court filing that the judge, U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor, came to the correct conclusion and said it would support the ruling when the decision is appealed.

The DOJ previously said that only the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions should be thrown out. The Justice Department, which typically defends federal laws in court, broke with precedent in refusing to defend ObamaCare, a move that Democrats call politically motivated.

A coalition of Democratic states, led by California, has been defending the law and is seeking an appeal of the decision.

On Tuesday, House Democrats sent letters to the DOJ, the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House demanding access to documents and information regarding the involvement of key administration officials in the decision not to defend the law.

Specifically, House Democrats, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerGOP memo deflects some gun questions to 'violence from the left' House Democrats urge Trump to end deportations of Iraqis after diabetic man's death French officials call for investigation of Epstein 'links with France' MORE (N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsDemocrats slam alleged politicization of Trump State Department after IG report Senior Trump officials accused of harassing, retaliating against career State Dept. employees Overnight Health Care: Planned Parenthood to leave federal family planning program absent court action | Democrats demand Trump withdraw rule on transgender health | Cummings, Sanders investigate three drug companies for 'obstructing' probe MORE (Md.), are asking for communications between White House officials regarding that decision and a list of officials involved in the decision. 

“The House is determined to get answers on the administration's nakedly political decision to rip affordable health care away from millions and millions of Americans," Nadler said Tuesday.